Niagara City Council appoints Guillani as interim police chief

Sept. 21—CITY OF NIAGARA—The Niagara Town Board has decided to replace its longtime chief of police with the interim appointment of the nephew of a former chief and the great-grandson of the former town constable .

Council voted unanimously at its Tuesday night meeting to appoint current City Police Captain Craig Guillani as interim police chief, effective today. The appointment is for a maximum of 9 months.

The position of chief of police in the city is a public service position and the nine-month window for provisional appointment is designed to allow the Niagara County Public Service Commission to schedule a review for the position. Supervisor Lee Wallace said the city has already asked the commission to set a date for the review.

“I think we all want to congratulate Craig on his interim appointment,” Wallace said. “He knows there is a test coming and I’m sure he will pass it.”

Guillani, who will celebrate 20 years in the municipal police in February, was smiling broadly after the council took action.

“It’s my life’s dream,” he said.

The new chief is the great-grandson of City Constable Julius Guillani, who served from the 1950s through the 1960s. He is the nephew of former City Police Chief Gary Guillani, who was the son of Julius Guillani.

“It’s very emotional for me and my family,” Guillani said of the nomination.

Wallace called the nomination a logical choice.

“He’s the captain right now and the other officers like him a lot,” Wallace said.

Gullani replaces H. James Suitor, who left the city police department to become director of public safety and emergency services at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. Suitor had a 37-year career in law enforcement. He spent 32 years in the city of Niagara.

“He had thought about leaving,” Wallace said. “I wish him good luck in his new venture.”

Suitor said the Memorial opportunity gave him the perfect opportunity to change careers.

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